Written by: Victoria Terrill, Account Manager Health Care
April 2nd was World Autism Awareness Day or Light It Up Blue Day. Annually observed, this year’s event was a huge success with supporters around the world celebrating the day together. Many wore a blue article of clothing (bright royal blue is the official color for the National Autism Awareness Month); others trended autism support on social media by posting about it using the hashtag #LIUB; some changed their social media profile picture to have a filter related to Light It Up Blue; and others joined in by decorating and brightening up their homes, businesses, and global landmarks with blue lights. President Trump and First Lady Melania lit the exterior of the White House blue during the evening. Many other celebrities got into the spirit, too, by posting about it on social media (Justin Trudeau, Danny Trejo, SIA, Katie Couric, Holly Robinson Peete, Carole King, Tony Dovolani, and Bryce Dallas Howard to name a few). As much fun as the day is to celebrate, it has an important, more substantive goal: to raise awareness of autism spectrum disorder. So I propose two questions:
“Why can’t every day be autism awareness day?
Why should “Light It Up Blue” for the whole month of April ONLY be in April?”
In my experience both with volunteering and recruiting for different organizations in the ABA Therapy field, I’ve found that individuals on the spectrum have the same needs, wants, and dreams as people who are not diagnosed with autism. By having an understanding of autism and intellectual disabilities in general, you can promote others’ understanding of it and aid those affected from it. Instead of devoting our efforts to this goal one day a year, we need to educate others about autism every day.
While the hype of World Autism Awareness Day does raise awareness, the long term goal is to secure the inclusion and acceptance of individuals on the autism spectrum. These goals do not just begin and end in April.
We need to take an everyday approach, not a one day per year approach.
I personally love the enthusiasm that comes with dedicating April 2nd to educating people on Autism Spectrum Disorder but we need more autism advocates! So the next time that you put on the blue t-shirt you have laying around your closet, remember that you can and are being an advocate for someone with autism spectrum disorder regardless of what day of the year it is.
Working as a recruiter in the ABA Therapy field is more than finding the best board certified behavior analysts in the country, it’s about being “all in” this movement to help others. I welcome your feedback and would like to connect with you on LinkedIn and on Twitter. You can learn more about me HERE as I focus on helping those within the world of Autism. Learn more about TYGES on our website, Twitter, LinkedIn, and or on Facebook.
Our mission is simple:
“We’re here to make good things happen to other people.”